Scout's Eye: Top NFL Prospects to Watch in Week 7

Big players and key games, including Georgia-LSU

Georgia (6-0) at LSU (5-1)

Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS), Tiger Stadium (Baton Rouge, La.)

This week features yet another great SEC showdown between No. 2 Georgia at No. 13 LSU. The Tigers, who had climbed into the top five and had playoff aspirations, are looking to bounce back after a loss to Florida last week. They'll look to play spoiler versus the Bulldogs in what will prove to be their biggest test of the regular season. A Georgia loss would shake up the top of the polls. These teams combined for 18 selections in the 2018 NFL Draft, including nine players chosen in the top 100. There'll be prospects aplenty for NFL talent evaluators in this one.

Five draft-eligible prospects to focus on:

OLB D'Andre Walker, Georgia, rJR (6-2, 240, 4.70, #15): The senior leader sets the edge for the Bulldogs' defense, one of the top units in the country. Through five games, the high motor, big-energy backer has collected four sacks and has three forced fumbles. Walker possesses burst, bend and length, while showing the ability to defend against the run, drop back in coverage or get after the quarterback. Despite this being his first season as a starter (41 games without a start entering the year), Walker has made plenty of big plays during his career. He lacked discipline early on in his career and was flagged for a lot of penalties, but he has corralled that issue over the past year and a half. He has been used as a hand-in-the-dirt rusher but primarily lines up at outside linebacker in the Dawgs' 3-4 scheme and could also play inside linebacker.

DE Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia, SR, (6-3, 277, 4.86, #13): Blessed with a big, lean frame, Ledbetter certainly passes the initial eye test with his size; he carries his weight well and could bulk up if needed. He's an athletic big man with the strength to hold his ground at the point of attack with most anyone. However, he does need to do a better job of controlling his frustrations, so that he doesn't commit dumb fouls. He has been suspended in the past due to an offseason incident in which he was charged for using a fake ID to enter a bar, while appearing to be "very inebriated" (the case was later thrown out) and another incident in which he was found asleep in his car and charged with a DUI. As a result, Ledbetter was suspended for the first six games of his 2016 campaign; he received counseling, according to the school. In 28 games played, Ledbetter has 77 tackles, including nine for loss and 3.5 sacks.

QB Joe Burrow, LSU, rJR (6-2, 215, 4.75, #10): Entering the year, Burrow had limited experience as a transfer from Ohio State, previously stuck behind some very talented quarterbacks. He is making a name for himself in Baton Rouge. Hailing from a football family, Burrow is the son of a coach and a true leader in the huddle. He has endured a handful of drops by his receivers, so his low completion percentage is a bit deceiving. He rarely commits a turnover (just two interceptions on the season) and knows where to go with the football, causing many scouts to label Burrow as a "game manager." With another season of eligibility remaining, his draft ceiling is higher than his predecessor Danny Etling (Patriots, seventh round).

WR Riley Ridley, Georgia JR (6-2, 200, 4.48, #8): A reliable wideout with dependable hands, Ridley shows the ability to create separation, along with great body control and concentration. The Bulldogs have a deep and talented wide receiver corps, so his numbers are not going to jump off the stat sheet (718 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 20 career games), but when the offense needs a big play, it turns to Ridley. He looks to join his brother, Calvin (Falcons) in the NFL, but teams will have to do their homework, as Ridley underwent ankle surgery in 2017. He also has a marijuana arrest on his resume, so medical and character will have an impact on how teams view his draft value. This matchup is an opportunity for him to showcase his skill-set in front of a full press box and win over some scouts to help solidify his stock.

TE Foster Moreau, SR (6-5, 255, 4.78, #84): The Tigers ask a lot of their tight ends, and Moreau has been recognized for doing his job. He has lined up in two tight end sets, out wide as a receiver, is an exceptional blocker but can also make the occasional catch and has served as a security blanket underneath for quarterbacks in the LSU offense. Moreau was awarded the prestigious No. 18, an honor that goes to the player on the team who epitomizes being a Tiger -- a tradition that began in 2003 (Matt Mauk). The New Orleans native is very well respected by his teammates for his character and toughness, as he has battled through a knee injury this season. His size, leadership, experience and value as an in-line blocker makes him a strong candidate to hear his name called during the draft, most likely as a Day 3 selection.

Other Georgia prospects to watch:

CB Deandre Baker, rJR (5-11, 180, 4.49, #18)

WR Mecole Hardman, JR (5-10 183 4.38, #4)

WR Terry Godwin, SR (5-11, 185, 4.42, #5)

SS J.R. Reed, SR (6-0, 195, 4.60, #20)

OT Kendall Baker, rSR 6-5, 290, #65)

RB Elijah Holyfield, JR (5-10, 215, 4.58, #13)

TE Isaac Nauta, JR (6-4, 246, 4.74, #18)

Other LSU prospects to watch:

CB Andraez Williams, SO (6-1, 182, 4.50, #29)

ILB Devin White, JR (6-0, 240, 4.64, #40)

OG Garrett Brumfield, SR (6-2, 299, 5.14, #78)

RB Nick Brossette, SR (6-0, 218, 4.64, #4)

FS Ed Paris, SR (6-0, 210, 4.52, #21)

FB David Ducre SR (5-11, 236, 4.77, #41)

LS Blake Ferguson, rJR (6-3, 235, 4.70, #50)

Washington (5-1) at Oregon (4-1)

Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC), Autzen Stadium (Eugene, Ore.)

Three draft-eligible prospects to focus on:

OLB Justin Hollins, Oregon, rSR (6-4, 238, 4.80, #11): A defensive playmaker, Hollins has been making big plays all year long, leading the Ducks with four sacks and creating three forced fumbles. He was out of position in the Ducks' 4-3 scheme and looks much more comfortable playing outside linebacker in their 3-4 system.

DE Jalen Jelks, Oregon, rSR (6-5, 245, 4.81, #97): The versatile edge rusher has been a hybrid player for the Ducks, who have mixed their defensive fronts. Jelks plays 3-4 outside linebacker and 4-3 defensive end ... and he also has played on the interior of the defensive line. He has been a factor in helping stuff the run and is averaging five tackles per game in 2018. Jelks has been very productive, racking up 19.5 tackles for a loss and 9.5 over his past 18 games and could be in first-round consideration if he tests well.

TE Drew Sample, Washington, rSR (6-4, 259, 4.86, #88): An exceptional blocker and above-average pass catcher, Sample is a noted hard worker and mature player (he was married during this past summer). He has amassed 30 career starts, despite sharing duties with Will Dissly (Seahawks) for most of his career, as the Huskies have implemented various tight end formations on offense. Actually, Sample possesses a catch/block skill-set that compares very favorably to Dissly, who was a fourth round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Other Washington prospects to watch:

SS Taylor Rapp, JR (6-0, 204, 4.59, #7)

RB Myles Gaskin, SR (5-9, 191, 4.50, #9)

DT Greg Gaines, SR (6-1, 322, 5.34, #99)

OT Kaleb McGary, SR (6-6, 318, 5.27, #58)

SS JoJo McIntosh, SR (6-0, 219, 4.59, #14)

QB Jake Browning, SR (6-1, 210, 4.78, #3)

OT Trey Adams, SR (6-7, 327, 5.30, #72) (out for year)

Other Oregon prospects to watch:

QB Justin Herbert, JR (6-5, 225, 4.81, #10)

TE Jake Breeland, JR (6-5, 241, 4.84, #27)

ILB Troy Dye, JR (6-3, 224, 4.79, #35)

OT Calvin Throckmorton, rJR (6-5, 307, 5.08, #54)

WR Dillon Mitchell, JR (6-1, 195, 4.50, #89)

RB Tony Brooks-James, rSR (5-9, 175, 4.43, #20)

Wisconsin (4-1) at Michigan (5-1)

Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ABC), Michigan Stadium (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

Three draft-eligible prospects to focus on:

OT David Edwards, Wisconsin, rJR, (6-6, 315, 5.17, #79): The athletic blind-side protector would have been a high selection had he declared last season, as he received a very favorable grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board. Edwards went to Madison as a tight end before making the switch to right tackle, where he has started for the past three seasons. He has since bulked up 75 pounds, while demonstrating sound technique and a physical style of play. He remains on the right side due to Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook being a left-handed thrower.

CB Lavert Hill, Michigan, JR (5-11, 177, 4.47, #24): Strong, physical and smart, Hill has been a standout player since the first day he set foot in Ann Arbor. The Detroit native possesses proven experience playing in a man scheme and has also been able to contribute against the run.

SS D'Cota Dixon, Wisconsin, rSR (5-10, 204, 4.56, #14): The Badgers' true vocal leader and team captain, Dixon is the definition of perseverance. He grew up with ill/addicted parents, was living in a homeless shelter at one point growing up and has endured three surgeries to combat a bloodstream infection. The Miami native had offseason shoulder surgery, missed action in 2017 due to a hamstring injury and received a medical redshirt, as injuries limited him to just three games as a freshman. On the field, Dixon has been a staple of consistency, flying around the field, swarming to the football with his hawk-like instincts and making big plays in big moments. He can power clean 335 pounds.

Other Wisconsin prospects to watch:

LB TJ Edwards, rSR (6-1, 244,4.79, #53)

OG Beau Benzschawel, rSR (6-5, 317, 5.28, #66)

OT Mike Deiter, rSR (6-5, 328, 5.36, #63)

DT Olive Sagapolu, SR (6-2, 346, 5.47, #99)

OLB Andrew Van Ginkel, SR, (6-3, 236, 4.79, #17)

ILB Ryan Connelly, SR (6-2, 228, 4.72, #43)

RB Taiwan Deal, rSR (6-0, 219, 4.59, #85)

Other Michigan prospects to watch:

DT Rashan Gary, JR (6-4, 281, 4.67, #3)

OLB Devin Bush, JR (5-11, 240, 4.78, #10)

DE Chase Winovich, JR (6-3, 253, 4.82, #15)

RB Karan Higdon, SR (5-9, 190, 4.50, #22)

FS Tyree Kinnel, SR (5-11, 201, 4.56, #23)

DT Bryan Moore, rSR (6-3, 325, 5.27, #90)

OT Grant Newsome, SR (6-6, 314, 5.07, #77)

QB Shea Patterson, JR (6-1, 193, 4.67, #20)

Michigan State (3-2) at Penn State (4-1)

Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (BTN), Beaver Stadium (University Park, Pa.)

Three draft-eligible prospects to focus on:

QB Brian Lewerke, Michigan State, rJR (6-2, 212, 4.78, #14): The Spartans currently have three former quarterbacks in the NFL (it was four until Connor Cook was cut this week), and Lewerke possesses the tools to be the next in line. A natural thrower who can bide time in the pocket, extend plays and pick up a first down with his feet when needed, Lewerke is also highly accurate. He brings a tough-minded leadership mentality and operates a pro-style offense, which bodes well for his draft stock. He looks to rebound coming off a poor performance.

RB LJ Scott, Michigan State, Michigan State, SR (6-0, 229, 4.62, #3): A leg injury (hamstring) suffered a month ago has hampered Scott throughout much of the year, as he has been a game-time decision in each of the past three games. The Spartans have sorely missed his hard-nosed, between the tackles, ground and pound mentality during his absence, as Scott can wear down a defense over the course of a game.

DE Shareef Miller, Penn State, rJR (6-5, 257, 4.86, #48): The flamboyant Miller is one of the Nittany Lions team leaders, he surely doesn't lack confidence and is never shy about giving reporters a quote. On the field, he shows a quick first step off the snap of the ball and the ability to disengage blocks and make plays against the run. He has specifically focused on improving his hand-eye coordination and using his hands more effectively top help improve his overall game. The Philadelphia native had a rough upbringing, suffers from a learning disability and has ADHD.

Other Michigan State prospects to watch:

DT Raequan Williams, rJR (6-3, 300, 5.00, # 99)

FS David Dowell, rJR (6-0, 191, 4.56, #6)

Other Penn State prospects to watch:

CB Amani Oruwariye, SR (6-0, 209, 4.57, #21)

OG Connor McGovern, SR (6-4, 312, 5.19, #66)

QB Trace McSorley, SR (6-0, 195, 4.64, #9)

CB John Reid, SR (5-10, 187, 4.53, #29)




Frank Cooney


Rob Rang

NFL Draft Scout